Faced with federal impotence on the climate file, Canada's provinces are taking independent steps to reduce their carbon consumption. At the same time, new international trade agreements, such as the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), that the provinces areactively negotiating along side the Harper government threaten to undermine these new provincial efforts to mitigate climate change.
The Ontario Green Energy Act, which prioritizes locally produced renewable energy, is one example of the kind of forward-looking policy the provinces should be adopting. But European trade negotiators are putting enormous pressure on federal and provincial governments to get rid of localcontent or sustainable sourcing requirements that are necessary to help Canadian communities and companies transition away from dirty energy, and create good, green jobs. Efforts to phase-out tar sands production are also compromised by these trade agreements.
On the eve of the 2010 meeting of the Council of the Federation in Winnipeg, come learn more about this provincial contradiction - between a need to move further and faster than the Harper government on climate change and a willingness to compromise environmental policy in trade deals - and why the provincial governments need to reject any trade deals with Europe or other countries that threaten their shift toward sustainability.
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